The last traditional Crown Oaks lead-up for three-year-old fillies ran on Victoria Derby Day today with the John Sargent-trained Kirramosa winning the 2013 Wakeful Stakes on way to the Group 1 next Thursday.
The $300,000 Group 2 Wakeful Stakes (2000m) produced last year’s Crown Oaks winner Dear Demi (4th) and now New Zealand-bred Alamosa filly Kirramosa is on way to the $1 million 2500m feature back at Flemington on November 7.
Well suited to the fast pace of the Wakeful today, the Sydney-based winner is sure to firm into favouritism in Crown Oaks betting after coming from last-to-first to run them down today with plenty left in the tank once she’d hit the line.
The David Hayes-trained Star Fashion, away well from the gates, was allowed to hit the front early and stayed in the lead setting a quick pace in the Wakeful.
Those that were in it in the finish meanwhile dropped back with race favourite May’s Dream, coming off a second to Guelph in the Thousand Guineas, sitting sixth or seventh and Tommy Berry taking Kirramosa right back at the tail from their outside draw.
“We had a bad gate and the idea was always to go back,” Berry said after the win.
On the straight Star Fashion kept the acceleration on but they were coming for her down the outside.
Darren Weir’s May’s Dream made up ground to challenge and joined in well but didn’t quite have the pace to match Berry’s mount who knuckled down and flew over the final 200m with the momentum out wide to win her Melbourne debut.
The Mathew Ellerton-trained local hope Solicit, who travelled sweetly in fourth throughout, held on for a tight third without much in it for the minor placings.
Kirramosa’s most recent run was a very close second to the boys over the Randwick mile on October 19, and she had plenty of upside going to the roomier track at Flemington today.
“She’s still full of energy, she’s just getting warmed up,” Berry declared.
Originally Sargent planned to take her straight to the Oaks next week.
He changed tactics however deciding it would be too tough an ask to step her up from a Sydney mile to the 2500m during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“We were going to ride her cold today with the Oaks on Thursday but she’s finished very strongly,” Sargent said.
“We were going to go straight into it [the Oaks]…but she was going so well…probably too well.
“You can’t go into the Oaks without going the distance.
“We changed our tact and it worked today.”
It proved the right decision too with Kirramosa showing she would handle the 2500m without issue with her Wakeful performance.
“She’s always shown she’s got a lot of ability…her second start was fourth in a Group 1 [in New Zealand], she’s got that bit of class.
“She’ll be ideal for Thursday.”
Berry, who was confident pre-race today having seen how relaxed Kirramosa was in the mounting yard, won’t be aboard for her back-up in the Oaks however with Nash Rawiller already booked for the ride.
“I’d love to be on her in the Oaks,” Berry said.
“But I think Nash is already on her.”
She’ll be hard to hold out again next weekend too as a live Oaks chance so long as the pace is on again.
But with the extra 500m she will also get a chance to sit, wait and relax coming with a blistering late burst like she did today.
In earlier Crown Oaks betting markets today’s Wakeful Stakes winner sat as a $21 outsider with odds led by May’s Dream at around $5.
Those prices are set to undergo a dramatic shake-up after the Flemington race two results this afternoon however.
The Group 1 racing action, and there are four to look forward to, kicks off at Flemington shortly making now the time to check out the available markets at Ladbrokes.com.au including their ‘Double The Odds’ offer on Race 6 – the Victoria Derby.
2013 Wakeful Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Flemington Race 2 – 02/11/2013
|1||7||KIRRAMOSA (NZ)||John Sargent||Tommy Berry||–||12||54kg||$9.50|
|2||3||MAY’S DREAM||Darren Weir||Nicholas Hall||1.25L||9||54kg||$2.25F|
|3||4||SOLICIT||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Glen Boss||1.75L||3||54kg||$7.50|
|4||2||ARABIAN GOLD||David Vandyke||Peter Robl||1.85L||7||55kg||$7|
|5||1||GYPSY DIAMOND||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2.05L||10||56.5kg||$17|
|6||6||STAR FASHION||David Hayes||Craig Williams||2.15L||1||54kg||$18|
|7||5||WORDPLAY||Anthony Cummings||Damien Oliver||3.4L||4||54kg||$15|
|8||8||EVERY FAITH||Robert Smerdon||Mark Zahra||3.6L||6||54kg||$61|
|9||11||TEAR GAS (NZ)||Danny O’Brien||Michael Walker||4.6L||8||54kg||$31|
|10||10||MELALEUCA||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Brett Prebble||5.1L||11||54kg||$21|
|11||9||REFER||Clarry Conners||Hugh Bowman||7.1L||2||54kg||$26|
|12||12||SAVANNAH MOON||Rod Symons||Chris Symons||7.3L||5||54kg||$151|